London-based Angela Hill and David Owen are the duo behind Idea Books, the industry’s go-to for rare, vintage and out-of-print tomes on fashion, photography and design, and an indispensable resource for creatives including Clare Waight Keller and Nicolas Ghesquière. What began as a niche fashion archive book retailer has transformed into a publishing house and a seller of books and merchandise, with a stand in Dover Street Market .
Hill came from a background in fashion, having previously worked for Comme des Garçons and Browns, as well as assisting fashion editors and stylists in the late 1980s. She went onto pursue a career as a photographer, co-founding a magazine in the 1990s. Owen began as a journalist and editor of magazines on graphic design, photography and advertising. He then turned to the music business, digital and television, co-creating a show called Flipside.
The pair turned to Idea full-time — having always collected numerous copies of their favourite books — when Colette’s Sarah Andelman suggested selling some of Owen’s books at her store. When Hill pitched the idea of a pop-up shop to the St. Martins Lane Hotel, Idea Books was born, an acronym of the first name initials of Hill and Owen’s family. They began selling books at Dover Street Market in 2006. Idea’s e-commerce site also sells branded merchandise and they have published a number of books for photographers Collier Schorr and Willy Vanderperre and designer Gosha Rubchinskiy .
Bypassing traditional retail, the company’s main communication channel with its clients is Instagram — which counts over 350K followers — where they advertise coveted books, available to purchase on a first come, first served basis.
Hill and Owen live in London with their two children.